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Monday, December 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Judi Dench!




I hope all of you will join me in wishing her a happy birthday.
She is one of my very favorite actresses, and I have written about here quite a lot here on this blog:






I am very pleased to see that she is keeping herself busy with stage and screen work, like Peter and Alice, co-starring Ben Whishaw, and the new film Philomena, co-starring Steve Coogan.

Dame Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw in Peter and Alice

I do wish she would do some Shakespeare sooner than later, so I will keep my fingers crossed.



Since her birthday falls so close to Christmas, I thought I would give you some Judi Dench related gift ideas:
1. At the top of the list is the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Macbeth from 1979.

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What could be better than Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen as those murderous Scots?



Shakespeare really just doesn’t get any better than this.

2. You must not miss Dame Judi as Titania in the RSC production A Midsummer Night’s Dream from 1968.



She is wonderful, and the others in the cast are fantastic, with Ian Richardson (so brilliant in the Richard III-inspired House of Cards TV series) as Oberon, Ian Holm (perhaps most famous for his role as Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings films),  Diana Rigg as Helena, Helen Mirren (need I say more?) as Hermia, and so on.

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The production looks dated, but the performances are electric.

3. For the more serious Shakespeare and Judi Dench afficionados, you must buy Playing Shakespeare.
It is 456 minutes, on 4 DVDs, with the famous former Associate director of the RSC John Barton as he conducts master classes in how to understand and perform Shakespeare.
You will be mesmerized by watching and listening to Dame Judi, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ben Kingsley, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, David Suchet and many others as they rehearse Shakespeare.

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4. If you want to learn more about Dame Judi herself, I would recommend her memoir And Furthermore and Scenes From My Life, a collection of photos from her personal photo albums.

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Both of these books will give you a richer appreciation of her as a person and as an artist.




If you agree with me that she should do some Shakespeare soon, please show your support on facebookTwitterPinterestGoogle Plus or Tumblr.

Your support will really make a difference!

And your comments are always welcome!



Cheers,



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